Documentary series to highlight sports’ role for inclusion and empowerment16 December 2014

Aseriesof12documentaries,settopremierinJanuary2015,ishighlightingsports’potentialtobringaboutachangeandempowercommunitiesacrossanumberofEuropeanandArabcountries.

Each TV documentary, produced by a different director in a different country, tells a separate story in which sport becomes the tool that propels change and helps question social conventions and overcome physical, social and cultural boundaries.

Through the 12 personal stories, the series of documentaries offers a cross-section of the societies and the cultures of the participating countries.

Seven episodes are built around young women who follow their sport dreams, like Fatma, a Tunisian footballer who chose to embark on a difficult process to become a man; Roageha, an athletics champion in Bahrein; or the story of the Albanian women’s football national team, a symbol of female empowerment in the country.

Other stories talk about sports and immigration, such as the one about five English brothers who moved to Slovenia to pursue their father’s dream and play together in the national rugby team; and the story of the Bundesliga midfielder Valon Behrami, a footballer of Kosovar descent, whose family moved to Switzerland when he was a child.

The issues around disability and sport are also portrait in a number of episodes, including the one about the Spanish national football team of blind people and the one about the Algerian Paralympian Nassima Saifi.

The ‘Sports Without Borders’ series is a co-production of the Euro-Arab TV magazine Inter-Rives, constituted of the members of the Conférence Permanente de l’Audiovisuel Méditerranéen (COPEAM) and Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU).

The Euro-Arab network has previously co-produced series documentaries on other issues. On the choice of sport as the focus of the current series, COPEAM said the universal theme was chosen to “tell stories of women and men who fight for little or great battles”.

Inter-Rivers